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Taiwanese students identify 16 asteroids in global space search

2012/04/25 21:22:13

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) Taiwanese high school students participating in an international asteroid search found 16 new asteroids, five of which were given numbers, National Central University said Wednesday.

Fifty-nine asteroids were identified during the Pan-STARRS Asteroid Search Campaign from March 15 to April 19, and Taiwan schools found nearly a third of them, the university said.

Five Taiwan high schools were among the 40 schools from seven countries that took part in the event, which was hosted by International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).

Among the Taiwan schools, National Lo-Tung Senior High School identified the five asteroids that were given temporary numbers, while Taipei First Girls High School and Changhua Senior High School each found four asteroids, the university said.

National Dali Senior High School found two, and Taichung Municipal Hui-wen High School located one, the university added.

During the campaign, the students were supplied with space images not yet analyzed by scientists and were asked to locate asteroids with the use of the computer software Astrometrica and send the reports to the Minor Planet Center, the university explained.

If the students identified an asteroid that was not in the center's database, and further observations proved that it was indeed an asteroid, then the asteroid was given a temporary number, the university said.

(By Hsu Chih-wei and C.J. Lin)